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[[bold]] With Ideal Weather, Mammoth Crowds, Elaborate Parade, and Spectacular Flights by Paul Studensky in Curtis Biplane Gastonia's Celebration Yesterday Was a Pronounced Success - Crowd Variously Estimated at from 20,000 to 30,000 People - Congressman E. Y. Webb Speaks - Sham Battle and Baseball Game in the Afternoon - Some of the Details. [[/bold]]

The fact that yesterday's Fourth of July celebration was the greatest ever held here goes without fear of contradiction. It was great in every way, great in attractions, great in amusements, great in point of every excellence. The parade was great, the crowd was great - and the weather was great. The last named factor probably had more to do with making the celebration a genuine success than any other one thing. Even as late as the eve of the Fourth threatening clouds hung low and ominous, gloomy forebodings of what might happen to set at naught all the skilfully worked out plans and preparations of the various committees. Jupiter Pluvius was most propitious, however, and the morning dawned fair and clear, with slight clouds hovering ever and anon in the sky, serving however, the most pleasing purpose of acting as a welcome screen from the scorching rays of old Sol. Not until late last night, when the joyous band of revellers had well nigh dispersed did the weather works break loose and let down a sprinkle of rain. 

The town was early astir, making all final preparations for the crowds that were coming. As early as seven o'clock the streets were crowded with pleasure seekers. By automobile and Interurban from Charlotte they came by buggies, wagons and vehicles of every sort from the surrounding country, on foot and by horseback, by automobile and special train from all nearby towns, the throng came and grew and increased until by the time the parade began to move at 11 o'clock every single available square foot of standing room on the sidewalk and a major portion of the street was at a premium. Main avenue and Broad street were one congested surging sea of humanity. The crowd has been variously estimated at 25,000 to 30,000. But on all sides it is generally conceded to have been the largest crowd ever entertained within the gates of Gastonia. 

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The premier attraction of the day was of course the airship flights in a Curtiss biplane by Mr. Paul Studensky, the first of which was staged for 10 o'clock. Owing to the excitement attendant upon the parade and the numerous incidentals connected therewith, not as many witnessed the morning performance as did the afternoon seance, or rather strictly speaking, rising. Owing to a slight contrariness on the part of the engine, Studensky did not venture, in his morning flight, to make the trip over the business part of town. But in the afternoon he fully redeemed himself and gave one of the most beautiful and successful flights ever witnessed in North Carolina. Anticipating the events, just a little, the second flight was scheduled to take place just after the sham battle. 

To Lineberger field in the extreme south-eastern part of town the eager crowd turned about 4 o'clock. On account of a serious mishap to one of the cylinders of the 75-horsepower engine, a delay of over two hours ensued and it was a few minutes past six o'clock when Studensky took his rise. As many people expressed it, the trip to Gastonia was worth as much or more than the cost entailed, for the sole purpose of seeing the air flights. To the ordinary observer, the machine seemed nothing more than a net work of wire, canvas and bamboo, some where in the midst of which was located a most powerful 75-horsepower gasoline engine. After a considerable delay in repairing a defect in one of the cylinders. The motor was started and he took his place and was strapped into position. Just behind was the curious shaped, odd looking Japanese doll which Studensky carries with him on all his flights. The whirr of the motor could be heard for hundreds of yards. As all final preparations were being made the machine was held by the restraining hands of four five attendants. As it was released it shot out across the field at a terrific rate of speed for a hundred yards or more, running upon the three wheels of its support, until at the proper moment by the movement of the steering apparatus it rose gracefully into the air, followed by the hoarse shouts of the cheering spectators. After making several long graceful spirals over the aviation field, Studensky attained his elevation and was off like a huge eagle for his flight over town. To the thousands of people on the streets and the spectators at the Loray ball park, he was in plain view. After circling over and around the southern and western section of town he made his way back to Lineberger field. By means of several low, swooping, graceful spirals he neared the ground until he was within a few feet of the surface when he 
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cut off the motor and the airship, hovering just an instant in midair in most graceful poise alighted as gracefully and smoothly as a huge bird. Studensky climbed from the machine, surrounded by a mob of cheering, congratulating thousands. To many of the spectators this was the first sight of an aeroplane and the effect produced by the sight of the birdman wheeling, dipping and spirally cavorting throughout the reaches of the upper air was well night magical. To young Studensky must go all the credit. Under conditions, as expressed by him, that were not the most favorable, he made the airship flights the most attractive feature of the day's program and contributed in large measure toward the success of the celebration. 


One of the most amusing incidents connected with the whole celebration happened at the aviation field late yesterday afternoon. The crowd, morbid and curious kept pressing closer and closer, upon the mechanicians as they were straining every effort to put the airship in readiness for the flight. Policemen and special officers put the men back time and again, but it was only for a few moments. Each time the eager crowd edged up closer and closer, only to be driven back again. Finally when everything was in readiness and Studensky had taken his seat the throng was pushed back again. Several overly interested spectators not content with a long distance view crowded up around the rear to take one look at close range before the flight. The field in front of the ship was clear, every one realizing the necessity of getting out of the way when it started. Not many looked from danger from the rear, but when the engine started the air and smoke shot out from the exhaust pipe with terrific force. Hats were blown away, great holes were torn in the hard earth by the force of the air-current, eyes, mouths and noses were filled with choking blinding dust and in one instance a man's coat was wholly ripped from his back. The policemen were partly ineffectual but this kept the crowd back until the flight started. 
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